Booze, weed, molly, ’shrooms, powder, rocks, downers, uppers, trippy shit. This is just a small sampling of the many legal and illegal substances used by party people to alter their consciousness (or get fucked up) while attending major music festivals.
Now, it’s no secret that drugs and concerts go together like a bong and a bag of Cheetos. Still, it is almost impossible to reliably quantify the number of stoners, ecstasy enthusiasts, and other users at these things. Mainly because festivalgoers are engaging in behavior that’s against the law. So they treat journalists and social scientists asking questions about “marijuana and MDMA” like “fucking narcs, bro."
Over the years, we at New Times have tried to engage 18-and-over adults in conversation about their drug use at music festivals — and they'd rather talk about their STDs. Apparently, though, they have no problem posting social-media updates about rollin’ face in a purp cloud on the road to acid city at #Ultra2015.
According to a survey of 3,622,365 Instagram posts by DrugAbuse.com, a rehab resource for alcoholics and drug addicts, the reggae heads and beat freaks at Miami’s own Marley Fest and Ultra Music Festival like to get high, pop molly, and even trip balls. Other drug-addled and booze-drenched fests include Broward’s Chili Cook-Off, Atlanta’s Tomorrowland, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo, New York’s Camp Bisco, Chicago’s Lollapalooza, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, California’s Coachella, Nevada’s Burning Man, the Electric Daisy Carnival, Life in Color, and Mad Decent Block Party tours, the Holy Ship! dance music cruise, and England’s Glastonbury.
Admittedly, DrugAbuse.com’s methodology (and motives, as an addiction treatment service) are questionable. Social-media updates about music fests that contain drug jargon don’t prove attendee drug use. At most, the survey is a snapshot of the drug culture at festivals. Still, it is amusing.
The most shocking Miami-related finding: People actually smoke ganja, the sacred herb, the sweet weed, at Marley Fest! As Bob himself would say: Duh, mon.
Equally underwhelming are the MDMA mentions in Instapics from Ultra Music Festival — though we are sorta surprised that LSD is the second-most-name-checked Ultra drug.
At least, though, Miami’s rastas and ravers don’t appear to be smoking crack like the maniacs at Burning Man.
Top Concerts & Festivals by Substance
*Survey of “percentage of Instagram posts mentioning substance and event” by DrugAbuse.com
1. Chili Cook-Off — 90.26 Percent
2. Summerfest — 87.02 Percent
3. Glastonbury — 69.01 Percent
1. Marley Fest — 82.04 percent
2. Camp Bisco — 25.11 percent
3. Bonnaroo — 25.05 percent
1. Electric Daisy Carnival — 42.99 percent
2. Ultra Music Festival — 37.68 percent
3. Camp Bisco — 21 percent
1. Burning Man — 7.42 percent
2. Bonnaroo — 5.99 percent
3. Camp Bisco — 2.81 percent
1. Coachella — 12.39 percent
2. Mad Decent Block Party — 11.76 percent
3. Lollapalooza — 10.67 percent
1. Burning Man — 3.85 percent
2. Bonnaroo — 3.73 percent
3. Glastonbury — 3.72 percent
1. Burning Man — 7.22 percent
2. Electric Daisy Carnival — 0.90 percent
3. Life in Color — 0.81 percent
1. Burning Man — 5.64 percent
2. Ultra Music Festival — 2.61 percent
3. Camp Bisco — 2.60 percent
1. Mad Decent Block Party — 5.88 percent
2. Lollapalooza — 5.63 percent
3. Holy Ship! — 5.49 percent
1. Electric Daisy Carnival — 0.47 percent
2. Tomorrowland — 0.36 percent
3. Lollapalooza — 0.29 percent
1. Burning Man — 0.48 percent
2. Camp Bisco — 0.43 perecent
3. Electric Daisy Carnival — 0.33 percent
General Drug Terms
1. Camp Bisco — 14.94 percent
2. Tomorrowland — 14.57 percent
3. Burning Man — 9.14 percent
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.